Clay and sculpting dough are fun for a while, and so is driving toy trucks around in a bin of rice. But the latest sensory activity involves moldable sand designed for indoor play.
I’d been tempted to pick up packages of kinetic sand, but it’s usually $15 for a very small package. It seemed overpriced. There are plenty of recipes floating around online, so I decided to try making it for a fraction of the cost — about $3 for nine cups.
Once the sand had a good consistency, I divided it into two bowls and let the kids play with it.
We also used a rectangular baking pan so they could spread it out and build. We didn’t have any sand sculpting toys, but a few plastic lunch containers worked OK for making castles and towers.
The kids played with the sand happily for a couple of hours, on and off, and we saved it in an airtight container for future use — it’ll last a month.
We do a lot of crafts and even more baking, but this project was the most frustrating mess I’ve ever cleaned up. I’m not sure what I was expecting, really, because even traces of sand from the neighbour’s sandbox seem to track all through the house.
The powdery sand was in every crack of the hardwood floor, every crevice of the table and chairs, and totally coating the kids’ clothes — which, of course, meant it was soon all over the place.
It took a lot of sweeping and wiping to get it all cleaned up, and I may have muttered something about never, ever playing with that cursed sand again.
I felt some of the “real” kinetic sand at the craft store a few days later, and I must admit it’s probably worth the steep price. The store-bought sand is soft and pliable, and probably far less messy. You’d still need to sweep well after using it, but you wouldn’t be wiping up drips of baby oil, patches of flour and crumbly clumps of sand.
We’ll play with our homemade sand again soon, but I have a feeling we’ll be trying it outdoors this time.